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Title: Acupuncture as an adjuvant for neck pain - a systematic review
Authors: Sze, Kai Tsit
Wong, Ka Man
Mok, Kei Po
Hui, Mo Yi
Lam, Yat Shun
Advisors: WOO, Chuen Hau Alexander
SZETO, Pui Yuk Grace 
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract: Background: Neck pain is prevalent, disabling and costly. The use of acupuncture as an adjuvant to conventional treatments for neck pain is common but whether this can provide extra therapeutic benefit remains unclear. A systematic review was, therefore, done to investigate this effect.
Objective: This review aims to assess the immediate post-treatment, short, intermediate and long-term effects of acupuncture as an adjuvant to conventional treatments on patient-specific outcomes in adults with neck disorders.
Methods: The whole data collection and analysis process strictly followed the standardized and latest methodological procedures proposed by the Cochrane Collaboration. The computerized search was done by the librarian team from the Cervical Overview Group (COG) and manual search was done by the Capstone group in major electronic databases and conference proceedings from March 2017 to June 2017. Only Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) which used acupuncture with actual insertion of needles into the body as an adjuvant treatment for neck pain were included.
Main results: Five studies (306 participants) examining acupuncture as an adjuvant to exercise or medicine for chronic neck pain were included. Very low quality evidence suggested that deep dry needling as an adjuvant to stretching was beneficial for pain relief immediately following treatment (SMD -1.97, 95% CI -2.48 to -1.47). Superficial dry needling as an adjuvant to stretching could not provide significant pain reduction in the short-term with very low quality of evidence (MD -6.10, 95% CI -13.83 to 1.63). There was low quality of evidence to support the pain-relieving effect of using Chinese acupuncture combined with stretching and strengthening in the intermediate-term (MD -13.20, 95% CI: -22.91 to -3.49). Moderate quality of evidence revealed that acupuncture as an adjuvant to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) demonstrated no additional benefit for pain reduction and functional improvement immediately following treatment (pain: MD -0.50, 95% CI: -1.75 to 0.75; function: MD 2.50, 95% CI: -0.83 to 5.83) and in short-term (pain: MD -0.70, 95% CI: -2.08 to 0.68; function: MD 0.40, 95% CI -3.57 to 4.37). No adverse events were reported with the use of dry needling and acupuncture.
Conclusion: Given the current sparse evidence, no conclusion can be drawn on the effectiveness of using acupuncture as an adjuvant to conventional treatment for neck pain. Future studies should involve larger sample size and comply with Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) standards for reporting.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Programme: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physiotherapy
Subject Code: RS4050
Subject Title: Capstone Project
Appears in Collections:Outstanding Work by Students

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